Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Extreme Wedding Photo Dump {Part Two, Ceremony}

My two cents is that I firmly believe photography is one of the things in life where you get what you pay for. Do I buy store brand food at Publix? Yes, all the time. I am all about saving money. Ross and TJ Maxx are my happy places. Photography, however, is not something to skimp on IMHO. I am so so happy that I followed my intuition, and got Courtney to do our wedding. These pictures are worth every single cent! They are priceless to me really.
My advice to anyone in the wedding planning process would be to book a good photographer. It is worth the expense to have pictures that you love after the wedding, and also not to worry about how your photos will turn out. Worrying about the quality of your photos is the last thing you need on top of all the other stresses that accompany planning a wedding. I had originally booked another photographer at a lower price point, but ended up deciding that was not the right choice for me.
Nick with his Dad and StepMom
My parents 

Nick and his Mom
My bridesmaids walked up the aisle to The Piano Guys instrumental version of Bruno Mars' Just The Way You Are. The lyrics "beautiful just the way you are" - exactly how I feel about my friends.
Almost time! This is one of my favorite pictures from the day.
Me and my grandfather. By the time I got to this point, all my stress melted away and I was just having fun! I can't adequately describe how I really felt a weight lift during this walk.

Our ceremony

Such a special moment

Yay! After obsessing over wedding plans for months, it was now time to have fun. We walked out to The Tams Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy
This is Brock, who performed our ceremony.
  Nick's family
Nick's family

My family, including my great Aunt, who came from Texas. She spent several weeks with my grandparents and helped my grandmother with the centerpieces. I never realized until recently that she is hilarious.
Our wedding party
Friends we've made it to Hump Day. Part III coming tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Extreme Wedding Photo Dump {Part One, Pre-Ceremony}

Y'all!! We got our professional photos back yesterday and I could NOT be happier!! Thank you to Courtney Dox. Seriously, she is AMAZING!!

Owl centerpieces (Thank you, Gran!)

  Opening a gift from Nick

Our precious flower girl

Still can't get over how gorgeous these flowers were!

Beautiful best friends.

This is so Jena.

 Nick and his groomsmen

These are a few my favorites from the pre-ceremony pictures. Courtney has your photos organized into pre-ceremony, wedding, bride & groom, and reception for you...makes my little OCD heart sing!
I'll be back tomorrow with the ceremony photos.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Weekend Recap

Another amazing weekend in the books! I used a day of vacation Friday to get caught up on school and some housework. Not the most fun way to use a vacation day, but had to be done. Friday night we headed up to Spartanburg, and had a night out with our best couple friends, Marcia and John. We had dinner at Ike's and then saw L Shaped Lot play.

It was our first time seeing Marcia and John's house. It was SO the perfect mixture of being stylish and decorated, but also so comfortable and cozy! I told Marcia she has some shopping trips to HomeGoods with me in the future. That way she can help me pick out stuff.  
Saturday we went to my Mom's house and our friend Jessie's to visit. Sunday we had a VERY much needed lazy day. We were supposed to go to the water park in Columbia, but stayed home. I've had asthma and allergies. I've wanted to go to the water park the entire time I've lived here, so I hope we can do that soon.
Happy Monday!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Book Reviews

Summer is upon us, and I find that summer just begs for a good book. This is a problem for me since I tend to get engrossed in a book and neglect my schoolwork, but that is beside the point. Oh how I wish for the lazy summer days of undergrad when I would spend hours poolside reading!
Here are some books that I've loved lately:
I read Carole Radziwill's memoir about her life with her late husband (and the Kennedys) years ago when it came out and absolutely loved it. Yes, it is wrenching to read, but a really well written book. I had to read her new fiction book that she released this year. It didn't disappoint! It was a little slow in the middle, but had a great ending. Carole write very well, and I love her on RHNY.
The Affair by Colette Freedman was a book I couldn't put down. Given the title of the book, I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying that it is about an affair. What makes this book so interesting is that it is told from three points of view, the wife, the husband, and the mistress. Overall a really good read. I read the sequel, The Consequences as well. It wasn't as quite as good, but I had to find out what happened next and was satisfied with the ending.
Tempting Fate by Jane Green was a quick and easy read, but a little more substantial than your typical beach read. I've only read one of her other books, but I will definitely be reading more in the future.
I've mentioned that I've read this book a time or two already, but it's Emily Giffin and I love her so much that it gets another recommendation from me. I love all of her books, so it was no surprise that I finished this one in a few days.
I read super fast so I am always taking book recommendations. If you are reading something you like, let me know!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Weekend Recap

We had a great (and busy!) weekend. Friday I got off early (yay for comp time) and got a pedi. We had dinner at Olive Garden that night, and left feeling like stuffed sausages. Saturday we ran errands. I picked up some items for the new living room, and we had lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings. Nick hates shopping, but he was very patient as we made several stops including Target, TJ Maxx, and HomeGoods.
Sunday we visited my grandparents for Father's Day. My grandfather had to have his 15 year old beagle mix, Taco, put to sleep three days before our wedding. It was very sad for our whole family. He adopted a new dog recently and we were excited to get to meet Andy. He is super cute and so affectionate, although I forgot to take any pictures.
After lunch at my grandparents, we helped my Mom give William a bath. William is her mini pig. He is cute, but usually very bad. He bit me in November and I cried (mostly just because it hurt my feelings). He apparently respects Nick though, because he was really good for him. Nick kept asking me if I was jealous that William is good for him, and I said no, that I am proud I married someone with such good pig wrangling skills.
My quarter horse, Melissa Sue, is bottom right. She has Navicular and can't be ridden anymore, but she was an absolutely wonderful riding horse and won a lot of blue ribbons for me in high school.
We ended Sunday night by grilling out at home and eating dinner on our patio. Overall it was a wonderful weekend that went by much too quickly.
I am battling a terrible headache, but hope to stay to finish the workday and make it to pure barre after work. I hope everyone has a good Monday!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Midweek Brain Dump

Friends, we've almost made it to the weekend. TGIF tomorrow!
I'm happy to say I'm in a better mood than I was earlier this week. I *think* I'm prepared for today's Neuro test. I drew a cute little map of the brain last night, and I think it helped me learn its anatomy.
In no particular order, here are a few things on my radar:
1. I confess I've had the March issue of Southern Living laying around since, well, March, and still haven't gotten around to making this, but I really want to. I think this test calls for some stress baking over the weekend. Any excuse to use our new KitchenAid Mixer. (I always enjoy a glass of wine while I cook or bake.)
2. Our furniture starts being delivered tomorrow!! I am still loving neutrals and a coastal flair. I can't wait to see how it will look when it all comes together.
3. I finished Emily Giffin's One and Only and now I'm sad that I finished it. I've read all of her books, and love them all. Where We Belong is my all time favorite, but they are all good. One and Only made me laugh and cry. I think I can say this and not give anything away, it IS about an unconventional romantic relationship, and I did keep picturing the scenario and would start to get weirded/grossed out, but still enjoyed the book.
4. Speaking of Emily Giffin, Something Borrowed has been on tv a few times recently, and I always have to watch it if it's on. Even though I read the book and have seen it several times. I have a few movies like that, 27 Dresses is another one.
5. Beachfront Bargain Hunt has been another new favorite of mine recently. I don't watch tv much during the week because of school, but I do let myself watch on weekends. Oh to own a beach property...hopefully one day. This is why I go to school!
I hope everyone has a great rest of the work week. Hopefully it will pass quickly!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I'm pretty sure I have a mental breakdown and write a post like this every semester, so I apologize if everyone is extremely bored with my posts about school by now.
So, as if rejoining the workforce after a beautiful wedding and absolutely amazing honeymoon wasn't hard enough, summer school has started. I am struggling. I haven't take a class in summer since I was in undergrad-in 2004. Yes, ten long years ago! And I didn't work full time then. That summer I lived at home and waited tables at what used to be Pitchers on Lake Hartwell. Yes, I am from the upstate, but went to Carolina, so 99% of the people I worked with at Pitchers were Clemson students. That summer I took Microbiology at Tri County Tech, and it wasn't too bad.
I know that I am lucky I even got into a competitive graduate program, and very blessed to have the opportunity to go to school at age 29. I have NO reason to complain. None at all. I am just being honest here - sometimes it is really hard. I get off work and I am mentally drained and just want to watch Real Housewives relax, not get started on studying for the day. South Carolina summers are beautiful, and I want to be outside. I will be the first to tell you that being an adult student requires a lot of sacrifices.
I know I will pull myself together and do it. I have to, and I always do. "Nothing to it but to do it" is what I tell myself. Last semester was my best semester of grad school thus far, I ended up with two As and a B+.
This summer I am taking Research Methods (so far not that hard, just very dull), and Neuro. Neuro is awful. Yes, sounds interesting, and it is, but very very hard. Last night I was trying to study, and I say try because I really wasn't doing much of anything. I had a headache yesterday, so basically all I was doing was moving my eyes across the page and not actually understanding anything.
So, dear readers, please excuse my breakdown. I have my first test in Neuro Friday, so hopefully I can get myself together to study for it between now and then, and I will be feeling better. I know I want to finish this program, and I know I will absolutely love having a new (better paying) career when it is over. I just have to remind myself sometimes.
I will be back with better posts soon! Thank you if you made it through reading this.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Weekend Recap (Furniture!!)

We had a great weekend staying in town, and best of all, purchasing our new furniture! I am super excited about what we got, and am eagerly awaiting it's arrival.
We decided on the Melody collection from Haverty's. However, I did some personalization. I got the Coral Bay chair, and Coral Bay pillows. I also picked out a turquoise/blue rug with a geometric design. I think it is going to look really great.
Melody in the showroom. This is what our sofa, coffee table, and end table will look like.
  Coral Bay chair
Close up of upholstery.
 Me having fun furniture shopping, Nick did not enjoy it quite so much.

It was an easy decision, and I was thrilled to find what I wanted to quickly. I think it is going to look really amazing in our house. I literally cannot wait to get our house in tip top shape! I know it will not happen over night. I spent every penny I made on our wedding while we were engaged, so now I am excited that is over and I can concentrate on sprucing up the house.
Have a great Monday!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Living Room Plans

Saturday we are going furniture shopping (!!). I have been wanting to get our home decorated for *so* long. It feels like an eternity. And, now that the wedding is over, I can finally get started.
I feel like you see our house from the outside and it's gorgeous, and then you go inside and it looks like a couple of college students live there.
We are starting with the living room downstairs. Nick has a man cave upstairs, so this will be my lady cave.
I love neutrals and want to use turquoise and/or aqua as our accent color. Turquoise is one of my favorite colors, and if you know me IRL, you know I wear it A LOT. My most winning pageant dress was turquoise, and wore turquoise in my old headshots.

Love these windows, but I would definitely have those shades drawn at night, otherwise I would be way too creeped out.
  How nice would it be to live on beachfront property? Nick and I say one day we will.
I am a little worried about light colored furniture and Yadi. Trinket isn't a very doggy dog, and doesn't really get dirty or make messes.
Any advice on where to shop, or experiences you've had buying furniture and decorating are welcomed!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Weekend Recap

This weekend felt like my last big hurrah since summer school starts today. We started the weekend by going to Jillian's in the Vista Friday night and listening to live beach music.

Believe it or not, I didn't like the Jellies Be Jammin' print when I first saw it online this spring. I thought jellyfish was an odd choice. Well, I tried this dress on in Pink Sorbet, and I really love it. The colors are beautiful. I think I just had a bad association since I've been stung by a jellyfish before. I also LOVE the white piping on it. Nick does not care the gold trim on some of my Lilly dresses. This is definitely going to be a favorite this summer.
Saturday we spent the day on the lake with friends. Good news, we found a better price on getting our boat fixed and have decided we are going to have it repaired. We were ready to just throw the towel in and donate the boat for the tax write off. After this repair the boat should be all fixed up. I hope we will get several more summers out of her.
Sunday I helped my friend Benson with mock interviews for his queens who will be competing in Miss SC in about three weeks. I always enjoy being around other people who love pageants, and getting to talk about pageants non-stop. It was a really great afternoon.

Benson has a great group of contestants this year. I've heard some of their answers to interview questions, and let me tell you...there are a few that are not just Miss SC ready, they are Miss America ready. It will be a very competitive group at state this year.
I hope everyone has a great Monday! I am trying not to be too sad that summer school starts today.